Cefalù Cathedral
the church hall

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

In every corner of the Temple, we bear witness to an intimate dialogue between religion and architecture pervaded by alternating colours that blend together, giving only an apparent sense of homogeneity.
The stained-glass windows made in the early 1990s by the Palermo artist Michele Canzoneri , capture our attention, sending us back in time with the narration of biblical themes . Artistically decorated transparent panels were inserted in the splayed single-lancet windows of the naves and in the large window of the façade. Consisting of a combination of various forms of blown glass, in turn enriched with acrylic pigments, they replaced the previous non-valuable fixtures, from ancient lead sheets to more recent ones made of wooden material. Looking up from the aisles is a mystical path, which elevates us towards an intimate link with the Word of God. It begins with the fourteen pointed windows overlooking the central nave, with seven windows on each side, symbolically referring to the days of the Creation. The theme presented in the side aisles is echoed in the rich and vibrant narrative rhythm of the nine representations on each of the single-lancet windows on the walls. The Cathedral, which had remained unfinished over the centuries, was brought back to life with atmospheres typical of medieval construction sites, during the major restoration project opened in the 1980s.

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

The mosaics of the apses

The plasticism of the main portico and Bonanno Pisano’s Monumental Bronze Door

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Ecclesia munita

Under the crosses of the Bema

The chapel of the crucifix: an artistic casket based on a previous model

The links between the hauteville family and the monastic orders in Sicily

The chapel of St. Benedict

A compositional design that combines nordic examples with new artistic languages, over the centuries

The Great Restoration

The Bible carved in stone

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The rediscovered chapel

Thirteenth-century iconography decorates the nave’s wooden ceiling, designed with new solutions

The cultural substrate through time

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A Northern population

A palimpsest of history

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The side aisles

The original design

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The paradisiacal “Conca d’oro” that embraces Palermo: a name with countless faces through time

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The Chapel of the Kings

A new Cathedral

Mosaic decoration

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The cemetery of kings

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The marble portal: an intimate dialogue between complex ornamental aspects and formal structure

The mosaics of the presbytery

A controversial interpretation

The side Portico: a combination of elegance and lightness of form

Palermo: the happiest city

The area of the Sanctuary

The beginning of the construction site

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Survey of the royal tombs

The Cefalù cathedral: a construction yard undergoing a change between a surge of faith and control over the territory

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The stone bible

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The senses tell Context 1

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The balance between architecture and light

The king’s mark

A space between the visible and the invisible

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Interior decorations

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Squaring the circle

Roger II’s strategic design

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The decorated facade

The Virgin Hodegetria

The longest aisle

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Cathedral over the centuries

The lost chapel

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Tempus fugit: a strategic project implemented in a short period of time

A remarkable ceiling

The columns of the nave: the meticulous study of the overall order

The towers and the western facade

A tree full of life

The southern portico

Worship services

Transformations over the centuries

From the main gate to the aisles: an invitation to a journey of faith

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The architectural modifications ti the cathedral building after the death of Roger II and the transformations of the cloister